Today’s shiny markets wrapped in social media and buffed with billion dollar valuations are not what they seem.
No business can thrive or grow in today’s tech drenched world without some technical competency and savvy marketing.
Digital has replaced traditional marketing.
To be successful, you must be proficient in creating and growing a digital “footprint correlating with your business objectives.
Brands: It’s Noisy Out There - Your Strategy has to be Spot On
- Have a customer feedback loop and analysis baked in to your brand strategy from day one for course corrections downstream.
- Attention is expensive in this market; it’s a fools game to assume high growth across the social web means unlimited opportunity.
- Ideas are cheap in our world today. Tactical execution trumps everything else.
- Niche in and find a foxhole to defend and ignore the false promises on the horizon. In most markets you’ll have one or two market leaders (see Google and Yahoo) and over time this is probably going to distill down to one.
- Every market has competition. End of story. Brands that delude themselves by ignoring and/or not doing competitive review will get their heads handed to them on a platter.
- Web site design drives your overall strategy: its’ the foundation that all of your tactical marketing and excruciatingly painful to rebuild a web site after it’s been launched and fraught with peril.
A viable digital marketing strategy is today much more than a web site, great graphics and baseline content.
One of your greatest challenges is grappling with “you don’t know what you don’t know” - your facing a bewildering mix of technology and process and with little framework for perspective.
- Data is exploding at an unprecedented rate, projected to be ten times greater in the next six years.
- Content sharing is now platform agnostic: it’s anything (text, comments, images, videos, ebooks, social shares) and anywhere and there is so much more of it.
- Consumer demographics are shifting rapidly from one social platform to another - brand loyalty is hard to come by.
- Bigger brands are leveraging their marketing muscle (social influence) to reach high value customers in multiple ways and outspending smaller brands.
- Native advertising is on the rise and helping to blur the lines of how consumers perceive “real” content vs. ads.
- Every business small or large is by necessity of changes in the digital landscape (more platforms and higher content volumes) being forced to become a publisher.
- The demand for greater levels of technical expertise driven by platform proliferation and inter connectivity of data is overwhelming the ability and resources of small businesses.
Don’t Fear the Cloud: Embrace it to Lower Costs and Get to Market Faster
Most of you don’t really have an idea of what the cloud is and the impact on their business.
Dig in to the technology.
Primal Fears Most Businesses have about the Cloud
- Are worried: ‘is my data safe, secure and readily accessible?”
- Concerned about adding another layer of complexity to their business.
- Uncertain about staffing needs and/or how to outsource getting the technology in place.
- Eyes glaze over when marketing tech geeks start throwing around confusing buzz words.
In most cases you’re just moving digital assets to distant servers with providers who probably have Servers as safe, if not safer than what you are using now.
Yes, you will need someone on staff to assess your digital infrastructure (if any) and then develop a plan to move and manage your assets.
We use this standard two page word doc for assessing a client’s digital infrastructure and it should be helpful
How Not to Get Run Over by Tech
Know apps, services, marketing platforms are not going to work as advertised (ever!).
Iterate Technology Deployment with Clearly Demarcated Digital Touchpoints
- Domain Name Server (“DNS”) Provider and Settings
- Server Setup and Provisioning
- Basic Web Site (Apps, Forms, SEO best practices, Plugins, CRM Integration, Analytics, basic Sales Funnel)
- Web Site Redeployment or Redesign
- Standing up a Content Marketing Platform & Syndication
- Deeper Sales Funnel Integration: Realtime Reporting
- Dedicated Server
- Cloud Apps Layer with more robust services
Takeaways for Busy Execs
This is a very basic outline above and by no means should be used more than just a quick reference point for “grease board notes” for a staff meeting.
Critical takeaway for this type of blog post is just to make you as an exec aware of some of these “tech gotchas” - tech is now baked in to every aspect of marketing.
E.F. Schumaker, the distinguished British Economist wrote the best seller, Small is Beautiful in the 70′s - it’s as applicable today as it was then, especially for smaller more nimble businesses.
Your greatest strength is your ability to reinvent your business using technology as a competitive driver.